Continuing Education

April 20, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I recently had the opportunity to attend an online workshop about running a photography business. It was given by famous (at least within the wedding photography industry) photographers Zach and Jody Gray. They are excellent photographers and maybe even better at educating, teaching and inspiring other photographers. The workshop was made possible by CreativeLive, which is an incredible resource for education in various creative fields.

In January, Zach and Jody did a workshop all about shooting weddings. It was an in-depth, 3-day training on all the ins and outs of wedding photography. Today's workshop was a follow-up workshop focusing on the process they have developed for handling all of the work once the wedding is over. Post-production and editing is a huge issue for photographers, especially wedding photogs, as we may shoot thousands of photos on the big day. It could be a very time-consuming part of one's business, taking up to 15-25 hours for each wedding! Well, Zach and Jody has slashed that down considerably - down to a mere 3-5 hours! That got my attention!

As I think back to the workshop, what really comes to mind is that they were disciplined in structuring their lives and their business to be the most productive, happy and profitable possible. Here are a few ways they do that:

  • They schedule their days. 
  • They READ, they learn, they dream big.
  • They set time aside to spend together as husband and wife.
  • They serve others.
  • They value their time.
  • They value knowledge.
  • They have SYSTEMS in place and are disciplined in following those systems. Having these in place makes it easy to hand over tasks to a third-party if necessary.
  • They enjoy life.
  • They know their strengths and weakness, focusing on their strengths and either working on their weaknesses or being willing to let somebody else do it.
  • They are on top of their finances: they give, they save, they know where the money's going and why, they spend (when it's the right time).
  • They are inspired by others and they want to inspire others.
  • They know how to stay focused on the task at hand: when editing, he goes into the zone. The headphones are on, the phone is off, email is off. He closes himself off from everything else - even photography related things. 
  • When culling images, he does it very quickly, comparing groups of photos rather than each and every individual photo. Once the winners have been picked, he doesn't look back!
  • They have the right tools to help them work efficiently.
  • They don't even check email until noon. Email is important, especially responding to clients and prospects, but it can be a huge time waster if we let it run our lives.
  • They purposely shoot it right in camera, so the editing time afterwards is very minimal.
  • They make time to personally deliver certain products to their most loyal customers.
  • They know when to say no.
  • They plan their work and work their plan.
  • They have mentors in their life, especially for their marriage. They meet with an older couple that has been happily married for a very long time and has lots of wisdom to share.


All this has got me thinking...

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weakness?
  • Where can I go to get away to a quiet place where I can think, plan, journal, spend time with God?
  • Do I have systems in place to run my business efficiently and profitably?
  • Do I have my days structured in a way so that I can focus on certain tasks and do them well, without interruption?


Overall, it was very informative and essential to any photographer/business owner. I highly recommend both Zach & Jody and CreativeLive. Here are links to their respective websites: 

http://www.zachandjody.com

http://www.creativelive.com

 

 


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Jason Hemsoth, Wedding PhotographerJasonHemsoth

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